Seminário Especial do LAPAt: Ultrafine particles and associated health implications in city microenvironments

15/04/2015 - 13:00
Auditório 2 do IAG (Rua do Matão, 1226, Cidade Universitária)

O Departamento de Ciências Atmosféricas convida para o Seminário Especial do LAPAt, que será apresentado pelo Dr Prashant Kumar (pesquisador da University of Surrey, UK, em visita ao IAG a convite da Profa. Dra. Maria de Fátima Andrade).
Ultrafine particles and associated health implications in city microenvironments
The air around us in typical outdoor environments contains 10’s of thousand tiny sized particles. Consequently city dwellers generally end up with a respiratory deposition of ~10-80 billion of particles each hour while walking or travelling along the busy roadsides. Over 99% of these particles, by number, are generally below 300 nm in size range (refereed here as nanoparticles). A dominant fraction of them are contributed by road vehicles in polluted urban environments. Due to competing influences of various transformation processes as well as varying strength of emission sources and dispersion conditions, nanoparticle concentrations may vary substantially in local (i.e. street canyons, ~104–106 cm–3) and micro-transport (vehicle wake and inside car cabins, ~103–107 cm–3) environments, and so is the case of the extent of public exposure. Despite the fact that a large body of literature currently affiliate adverse health effects with the exposure to nanoparticles, there are no ambient air quality regulations in any part of the world. Exception to this is the first time introduction of Euro 5 and Euro 6 vehicle emission standards that include limits for nanoparticles on a number basis, calling a need of controlling public exposure through the ambient air quality regulations. This talk will start with the background information on on-going research as a part of my research group in the area of measurements and dispersion modelling of nanoparticles. This will further address the available infrastructure facilities to address several scientific and key questions related to this topic. Some of the results of our recent field and dispersion modelling studies focusing on the concentrations and dynamics of nanoparticles in urban settings (vehicle wake, car cabins, street canyon, and cities) will be presented. Also will be highlighted the challenges in their dispersion modelling at various spatial scales. The further part of the talk will focus on the key results of our recent case study that estimated the nanoparticle emissions from road vehicles in megacity Delhi and estimated allied mortalities in current and future years. The talk will conclude with the summary of topic areas covered and highlighting routes for possible research collaboration.
Biography: Dr Kumar obtained his PhD (Engineering) from the University of Cambridge after securing a Cambridge-Nehru Scholarship and the Overseas Research Scholarship Award. Prior to this, he received his MTech degree in Environmental Engineering & Management from Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India. After serving as a Lecturer (2009-2012) and Senior Lecturer (2012-2015), he is currently working a Reader in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Surrey, UK. He is a group member of the Environmental Flow Research Centre (EnFlo) and the Centre of Environmental and Health Engineering (CEHE). Dr Kumar’s research focuses on urban air pollution, including atmospheric micro- and nanoparticles, their measurement using advanced instruments, dispersion modeling using numerical, wind tunnel and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools, and the implications for regulatory control.